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  #21  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 8:05 PM
Crawford Crawford is online now
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Let's face it: In the wake of WW II, most Europeans couldn't afford a private car and cities, as they rebuilt, rebuilt their public transit as quickly as possible because it was a vital way for people to get around (along with foot power and bicycles). You will see video and photos of cities like Berlin just months after the war ended with streetcars moving past piles of rubble being sorted through by poorly clad people.
This is true, but Europe deserves praise for embracing transit in later, more prosperous decades. There were huge investments in the 1960's and 70's. The (much richer) U.S. refused to fund transit.

At the same time Robert Moses' legacy had largely stopped U.S. transit investments and expansion, Paris was spending megabillions on the RER.
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  #22  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 8:07 PM
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There are no such plans for suburban rail anywhere in the U.S., to say nothing of Denver.

Why would you think Denver, of all places, would make sense for something analagous to RER? RER is an extremely high capacity system, suitable for weekday commuting in the millions. Denver's low capacity buses and light rail are more than adequate.

Portland doesn't have awful ridership for U.S. standards, but still extremely low for global standards. LA is spending billions on new lines, but is actually losing riders, and still has basically one subway line for 18 million people.

If only that explosion at the Ross store on Wilshire didn't happen, the Purple Line might be in Santa Monica today. Expo probably doesn't happen either.
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  #23  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 8:10 PM
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Yeah, as Nouvellecosse indicated, if SF and Toronto city propers have similar transit share, then Toronto is much more transit-oriented.

Toronto city proper is mostly postwar suburbia. The old city of Toronto would be apples-to-apples comparable to SF proper. The best comparison would be Bay Area to GTA, and that would should considerably higher transit orientation in Toronto.
Nice try.
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  #24  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 8:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
This is true, but Europe deserves praise for embracing transit in later, more prosperous decades. There were huge investments in the 1960's and 70's. The (much richer) U.S. refused to fund transit.

At the same time Robert Moses' legacy had largely stopped U.S. transit investments and expansion, Paris was spending megabillions on the RER.
For people who can afford it, travelling by private car on your own schedule when/how/as you want is much more pleasant . . . or was in the 1960s as I can attest. The US refused to fund transit because the decision makers couldn't imagine riding it and, in many cases still can't (in SF, the city Supervisors still demand free prking at City Hall in spite of claiming they support a "transit first" policy). Even in your New York, the affluent have their car services (and now the middle class has Uber) and don't actually use transit. Transit in the US has almost always been the last choice though these days, with traffic congestion and parking issues making use of private cars increasingly a nightmare, more and more people have to choose that last choice. In SF, that seems to be public policy: Force people onto transit by making the use and ownership of cars ever more costly and difficult and unpleasant, which might be OK if they had a plan for making transit efficient and pleasant but they don't. As people are forced to give up their cars, transit is getting ever more crowded and nasty. I used to ride it a lot and it worked pretty well. Now I am very quick to summon an Uber and find the ridership on transit is increaingly made up of folks I would avoid if I could.
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  #25  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 8:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Crawford View Post
There are no such plans for suburban rail anywhere in the U.S., to say nothing of Denver.

Why would you think Denver, of all places, would make sense for something analagous to RER? RER is an extremely high capacity system, suitable for weekday commuting in the millions. Denver's low capacity buses and light rail are more than adequate.

Portland doesn't have awful ridership for U.S. standards, but still extremely low for global standards. LA is spending billions on new lines, but is actually losing riders, and still has basically one subway line for 18 million people.
Well Toronto is calling it's new 15-minute commuter rail RER. I guess we can call an electrified, all-day, high frequency commuter rail network a RER network in north american standards.

Denver's A-Line has reached 18,000 daily ridership in a year with 15-minute headways :



RTD plans to do the same with the soon-to-open N Line, the future G Line and eventually with the B Line as well. So no, it's network is not skeletal, it's actually going to be better than most north american commuter rail.

LA has 2 subway lines (red and purple) and it's low density outside the core doesn't warrant anything more. Metro made the subway vs LRT choice a long time ago. While it's true that ridership is lower than during the bus-only era, I think this is more attributable to trends and declining bus ridership rather than the actual LRT ridership declining. Maybe population is increasing faster than the transit offer, which is the case in Montreal's suburbs for example.

The point is: we shouldn't be comparing US public transit with european/asian public transit. Just two different mentalities, and the american one is changing at snail pace. We should be inspired by them though.

Last edited by SkahHigh; Aug 8, 2017 at 9:25 PM.
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  #26  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 9:05 PM
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There are no such plans for suburban rail anywhere in the U.S., to say nothing of Denver.
Do you know how far into the hinterlands BART goes? Have you heard of SMART? How about eBART?

And lest you think these lines are just commuter rail to downtown, one BART line doesn't even cross the Bay--just runs up and down the East Bay taking people from one suburb to another. And SMART will essenially do the same in Marin/Sonoma.
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  #27  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 9:29 PM
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Well Toronto is calling it's new 15-minute commuter rail RER. I guess we can call an electrified, all-day, high frequency commuter rail network a RER network in north american standards.
Isn't the main, defining characteristic of Paris' RER setting it apart from other commuter rail, that traditional commuter rail, even ones with higher frequency, tends to just have one (or very few) city centre stations, but that RER was through-running with numerous city-centrer stations with seamless integration with other transit, allowing it not only higher capacity, but also to better distributing commuters through the city, and allow people to quickly cross the city using it as basically an "express" version of the metro. In that sense, BART, Crossrail, and verious S-Bahn systems would be good examples, while any system that just goes to/from a city-centre terminus, wouldn't be.

Although of course, Toronto does have the capability of through running since the tracks come to Union from both directions so someone could easily use RER to go from say, Etobicoke to Scarborough without connecting downtown. Not sure if there will be any infill stations downtown though.
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  #28  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 9:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
Isn't the main, defining characteristic of Paris' RER setting it apart from other commuter rail, that traditional commuter rail, even ones with higher frequency, tends to just have one (or very few) city centre stations, but that RER was through-running with numerous city-centrer stations with seamless integration with other transit, allowing it not only higher capacity, but also to better distributing commuters through the city, and allow people to quickly cross the city using it as basically an "express" version of the metro. In that sense, BART, Crossrail, and verious S-Bahn systems would be good examples, while any system that just goes to/from a city-centre terminus, wouldn't be.

Although of course, Toronto does have the capability of through running since the tracks come to Union from both directions so someone could easily use RER to go from say, Etobicoke to Scarborough without connecting downtown. Not sure if there will be any infill stations downtown though.
Yeah, you could say that. To me, RER would be electrified, all-day train service with 15-minute headways. So, better than typical commuter rail but less than rapid transit, something between the two.
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  #29  
Old Posted Aug 8, 2017, 9:59 PM
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^ The only issue with that, is that in much of the developed world, "electrified, all-day train service with 15-minute headways" isn't better than typical commuter rail, it IS typical commuter rail. And therefore it doesn't warrant any special designation like something more rarefied would.
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  #30  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Nouvellecosse View Post
^ The only issue with that, is that in much of the developed world, "electrified, all-day train service with 15-minute headways" isn't better than typical commuter rail, it IS typical commuter rail. And therefore it doesn't warrant any special designation like something more rarefied would.
So, how would you qualify GO RER? If it's basically the same as Denver's commuter rail with more capacity.
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  #31  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:10 PM
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GO RER looks to be promising multiple service improvements, but at the end of the day it is a marketing brand for an upgraded commuter rail service.
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  #32  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:35 PM
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GO RER looks to be promising multiple service improvements, but at the end of the day it is a marketing brand for an upgraded commuter rail service.
I think we can all agree on that on a global standpoint. In terms of North America however, it'll be one of the best commuter rail networks. Definitely something to be cheering about.
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  #33  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:35 PM
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  #34  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:40 PM
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Nice try.
What did I write that would lead you to respond "nice try"? I'm genuinely confused.
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  #35  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Pedestrian View Post
Do you know how far into the hinterlands BART goes? Have you heard of SMART? How about eBART?
BART is a new commuter rail system? Is it 1970 or something?

The previous poster was talking about new plans for a RER-type system in the States. There is no such plan.

Obviously there are existing U.S. rail systems that serve a commuter population, not entirely unlike RER, and BART would be one of these systems.
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  #36  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 12:50 PM
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Well Toronto is calling it's new 15-minute commuter rail RER. I guess we can call an electrified, all-day, high frequency commuter rail network a RER network in north american standards.
Toronto has no electrified commuter rail. It only has diesel commuter rail, and ridership/frequencies are relatively low.
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Denver's A-Line has reached 18,000 daily ridership in a year with 15-minute headways :
That's horrible ridership. Regular bus lines have 2-3x the ridership in urban cities. RER lines carry millions.

And the A line is functionally more like a light rail line than a high capacity suburban line. 15 minute frequencies are pretty typical for buses or light rail.
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  #37  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 3:50 PM
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Toronto has no electrified commuter rail. It only has diesel commuter rail, and ridership/frequencies are relatively low.

That's horrible ridership. Regular bus lines have 2-3x the ridership in urban cities. RER lines carry millions.

And the A line is functionally more like a light rail line than a high capacity suburban line. 15 minute frequencies are pretty typical for buses or light rail.
Toronto will electrify it's commuter rail in the next ten years FYI:
http://www.gotransit.com/electrifica...n/default.aspx

A commuter rail network that currently has 225,000 riders a day without the massive future improvements is not what I call low ridership.

An A-Line ridership that could grow to 25,000 in the next five years... Which is better than 3/4 of commuter rail lines in the US but I guess it's still horrible to you. It's definitely not light rail if you look at technology used, it's the same as SEPTA Regional Rail in Philly.

You're comparing new networks with old ones when my point of view in the discussion was mostly expansion and recent projects. So debating this is pointless. You comparing Denver's A Line with Paris' RER is apples and oranges...

My point was that a few cities in the US don't have horrible transit and that the trend is changing in some places, notably the ones I named. You answered with this:

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You have it completely reversed. Portland, Denver and LA have comically horrific transit for global first world standards. Chicago and DC have mediocre transit; NYC is really the only U.S. city where transit is the norm and feasible for typical families.
New York is trending downwards. Chicago is stagnant while DC, SF, Denver and LA are examples of improving cities. Hence my point about changing trends in transit investment. So no, I did not have it backwards.

Last edited by SkahHigh; Aug 9, 2017 at 5:45 PM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 4:05 PM
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The commuter rail will be electrified and more frequent and fare integrated, unlike the way it is now where both services act is if the other doesn't exist.
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  #39  
Old Posted Aug 9, 2017, 9:10 PM
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Originally Posted by SkahHigh View Post
Toronto will electrify it's commuter rail in the next ten years FYI:
[url]http://www.gotransit.com/electrification/en/default.aspx[/url
While Toronto has commited to electrification, they haven't commited to how they will do it, or how much of their lines will be done. There's the possibility of using hybrid engines, or hydrogen drives for locomotives instead of electric locomotives powered from catenary wires. That's still being decided upon,
Construction underway or about to start is limited to additional tracks and it's signaling to run trains more often.
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  #40  
Old Posted Aug 10, 2017, 3:04 PM
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While Toronto has commited to electrification, they haven't commited to how they will do it, or how much of their lines will be done. There's the possibility of using hybrid engines, or hydrogen drives for locomotives instead of electric locomotives powered from catenary wires. That's still being decided upon,
Construction underway or about to start is limited to additional tracks and it's signaling to run trains more often.
Toronto's GO RER project is evolutionary. At this point, they are adding double tracking, widening bridges and eliminating level crossings. As various portions are completed, train frequency is to be increased. Train frequency has already been increased and more is expected in the next few years. Electrification is part of this plan but is dependent on track improvements being completed first. I believe that this is part of Ontario's Green Energy Program and there is ongoing discussions with Hydro Quebec to increase available power for the Ontario electrical grid. This is an extremely complicated project with many moving parts.

Go Transit (which excludes TTC subways, streetcars and buses) already moves far more passengers each day than Denver's RTD.
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